Style Series: Wedding Dresses
Hello friend and dearest, DEAREST, Reader.
We are forging ahead in our style series with yet another week of all things fashion, style, and clothes! I am feeling kind of hyped up right now because it was our anniversary this past Monday. In a flurry of wedded bliss and nostalgia, I decided to make all the blogs "wedding" themed for the week.
So now, we have the style series colliding with the wedding series resulting in today's blog, all about wedding dresses!
To give you a brief history of my experience with wedding dresses, I need to tell you that I am verified "Say Yes to the Dress" addict (currently in remission.) I spent MANY Friday nights with my mother, gleefully watching brides say "yes" and "no" to dresses in the renowned Kleinfelds' New York. In college I actually modeled wedding dresses a few times too!
But the icing on top of the wedding cake is that I am ALSO a bonafide wedding dress saleswoman. I spent the summer after my Junior year standing in four inch high heels on plush Alfred Angelo carpet, dragging thirty pound dresses to nervous brides.
But let me tell you this: I was a bad wedding dress saleswoman.
I am not kidding.
Other consultants were so incredibly talented at it; they could preen, flatter, and persuade ANY bride into almost ANY dress. My problem was that I did NOT, and I repeat, NOT, want to persuade anyone to wear a dress they weren't head over heels for! It just wasn't my thing!
I wanted my brides to feel gorgeous and positive, not weighed down and forced into a decision. Also, that particular store didn't have many dresses I genuinely liked, so it wasn't hard to agree when the bride announced that a certain dress "wasn't the one."
With my wedding dress sales in the past, I now laugh at the whole thing. The entire culture around wedding dress shopping is NOT conducive to actually FINDING a dress!
There is so much pressure on brides to bring an entire entourage, plan a post-dress lunch, and feel good about her body under strobe lights on a LITERAL pedestal, while her great aunt looks down her nose at the *shudder* champagne colored dress.
On top of the actual dress shopping, a major issue is that too many brides have deeply engrained ideas of what they envision, what they believe will work, and what they want. Unfortunately, many of these Pinterest-inspired dreams do not match up with reality: the dress might be too expensive, unfit for the venue, or unfit for the bride's figure.
Today, I want to give you some tips for wedding dress shopping: from the visuals to the actual shopping spree.
1. Go on your own to start
This advice might be controversial, but I think it can be REALLY helpful to explore some dresses on your own. It gives you time to think about different options without worrying what your friends and family think. You don't have to FIND the dress by yourself, but I think a short spree after work, trying on some general shapes can really help you get an idea of what you want.
And if you DO find the dress? Set it aside and come back with your mother and sisters on another day to try it on with a veil. I promise you that this will make your process MUCH less stressful.
2. Plan your dress with the venue in mind
What venue are you getting married at? How fancy is your wedding going to be? What season will it be? Will you be too hot in sleeves in July? Is your ballgown plan going to work on the beach?
It's important to think about the function and purpose of the dress. I know, I know, if a girl wants to wear a sleeved ballgown on the beach in August, it's HER wedding, and yada yada. Absolutely. But I still feel like figuring out your venue and matching your dress to it can actually NARROW down your options in a positive way. It's not about stopping you from wearing full sleeves in June: it's about helping you narrow things down!
I went to a wedding in a cathedral where the bride wore a bohemian simple lace dress. It simply did not feel grand enough for the space! Think about the venue: don't let it hold you back, but keep it in mind.
3. Don't rule anything out
Okay so I know I just told you that we need to rule out dresses that won't match our season or venue, but at the same time, I think we also need to keep an open mind. So many people will"hate strapless" only to walk out of the store with a strapless dress! Some women assume they hate straps, or lace, or sparkle, or pouf, or whatever, only to leave with a dress with that EXACT thing on it.
Here's the thing: a wedding dress is so much more than straps, a neckline, or even the lace and sparkle. Wedding dresses are meant to compliment you and your body, and the truth is that sometimes... some gosh-darn lace looks pretty good on you, even if you hate it. Remember: you've never worn a wedding dress before, which makes you a novice. Don't go in guns'a'blazing with a suitcase of opinions formed from your experience on Pinterest. Keep an open mind and learn as you go.
4. Think of your "couple proportions"
Okay this might be just for controlling artistic people like myself (LOL,) but I really thought about our proportions as a couple when I chose my dress. My husband is only an inch or two taller than myself, and because of that, I didn't want to choose a massive ballgown that would swallow us both up!
I wanted to look somewhat petite next to him.. which is nearly impossible with my curvy 5'8 frame, and a ballgown was simply not going to do it for me. A fit-n-flare was what worked for me and it ended up looking really amazing in photos! Think about the size of your groom, your own frame, and what it will look like in photos.
5. Ask your groom if he has thoughts
I asked my husband what kind of dresses he liked and if he had anything in particular that he would be happy to see on our wedding day. To my surprise, he actually had an opinion! He told me he preferred strapless dresses with a "heart neckline." What a sweetie! It actually made choosing a dress a lot easier because I was able to focus in on a certain genre.
Of course, your groom probably just wants to see you looking gorgeous, but you never know; he might have some good tips. And of course, I wanted to feel beautiful on my wedding day, but I was also excited to wear something that my husband loved!
6. Chill out on the Pinterest
Pinterest is an amazing tool to get our brains flowing, but it is in NO way, a flight simulator for wedding dress shopping. This is not like furniture shopping; you will be wearing the item, not looking at it. Just because something is nice to look at doesn't mean it will be nice to wear.
Pin some ideas that get your brain flowing, but don't marry yourself to a Pinterest dress prematurely.
7. Don't go into debt
I will only say a short word about this: if you go into credit card debt for your dress, OR you make someone else go into credit card debt, you are a fool. You are being foolish and shortsighted, and I'm sorry I have to be the harsh and sassy online sister you never knew you needed. LOL.
But seriously. A fortune on a wedding dress can pay for the closing costs on a HOUSE. Or two or three months of a mortgage! I know dresses are expensive, and I am all about celebrating our big day; if you have the money and want to spend it, go for it. But if you DON'T have the money? Don't go into debt! Set aside whatever your budget is and work within that. I can promise you that there are dresses in all sorts of price ranges.
Alright thank you my loves! We are officially on vacation and I am SO happy! It's time to sit back, relax, and read an actual BOOK!
I wish you all the best in your wedding planning my loves. Stay sharp, stay on budget, but don't forget to celebrate.